Energy Efficiency

Power Integrity Solution for Signoff Timing-Aware IR Drop Analysis

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the Tempus™ Power Integrity Solution, the industry's first comprehensive static timing/signal integrity analysis and power integrity analysis tool, which enables engineers to create reliable designs at 7nm and below. The Tempus Power Integrity Solution is the result of an integration between the widely used Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution and the Voltus™ IC Power Integrity Solution.

Using the new tool, customers can significantly lower IR drop design margins without sacrificing signoff quality, thus improving power and area. Early use cases demonstrated that the Tempus Power Integrity Solution correctly identified IR drop errors, avoiding silicon failure prior to tapeout and improving the maximum frequency in silicon by up to 10%.

The new Tempus Power Integrity Solution combines the proven Cadence Tempus Timing Signoff Solution and Voltus IC Power Integrity Solution signoff engines, which let the designer assess the overall timing impact on IR drop, reducing the engineering workload and speeding design closure. The tool's other key benefits include:

  • Smaller IR drop margins to improve power and area: Intelligent activity generation and direct calculation of the timing impact of IR drop reduces the need for larger safety margins, optimizing power and area.
  • Comprehensive signoff coverage: Vectorless activity generation automatically develops activity vectors for full coverage while also exploring potential failure scenarios on voltage- sensitive paths, improving signoff IR drop analysis reliability.
  • Proprietary vectorless-based algorithm to identify voltage-sensitive paths: Sensitivity analysis combined with proprietary algorithms developed through machine learning (ML) techniques efficiently identify critical paths most likely impacted by IR drop. Tempus Power Integrity's methods ensure a high degree of IR drop analysis coverage without requiring extensive, time-consuming vectors.
  • Find and fix potential IR drop failures: Visibility into voltage-sensitive high-risk failure scenarios allows designers to catch potential problems early in the design cycle and fix them automatically.

"IR drop analysis is a key signoff technology that is increasingly critical, especially for today's high-speed chips operating with highly resistive lower metal layers," said Marlin Frederick, Jr., Fellow, Physical Design Group at Arm. "Our evaluation of the Tempus Power Integrity Solution highlights that Cadence's integrated approach provides better coverage than traditional vector-based flows for reasonable amounts of compute."

"Our relentless focus on creating deep integrations with our complete RTL-to-GDS solution has made it possible to deliver new capabilities that help customers achieve design excellence and in a way that's unprecedented in the industry," Dr. Chin-Chi Teng, senior vice president and general manager of the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. "The Tempus Power Integrity Solution resolves the issue of timing being dependent on IR drop, and vice-versa. Additionally, our combined signoff engines provide customers with a solution that's faster and easier to use."

The Tempus Power Integrity Solution is part of the broader Cadence digital implementation and signoff full flow, which provides customers with a fast path to design closure and better predictability. The new tool supports the company's Intelligent System Design™ strategy, enabling advanced-node system-on-chip (SoC) design excellence.

Cadence Design Systems Inc.
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